Collared shirts for both men and women come in a variety of styles and shapes. But one that keeps coming back into fashion over and over again is the Peter Pan collar and its variations like the club collar.
Originally popular in the US more than a century ago, the Peter Pan collar has reappeared in fashion decade after decade. So what is it and where does it come from? Read on to find out.
Peter Pan Collars are Rounded Rather than Pointy
There are many variations of the peter pan collar, but the one thing that does not change is that had always been rounded. Unlike the typical dress shirts where collars finish with pointy ends, the peter pan collar has a smooth curve all around it and is laid flat against the wearer’s chest instead of coming up around the neck.
The peter pan collar also evolved along the years, when it first started to be popular it was usually made out of a soft fabric, and it was much larger than its contemporary version, which tends to be a lot smaller, more structured, and available in a variety of textures, thickness, and colors.
The Peter Pan Collar Gets its Name from a 1905 Peter Pan Play
A long time before movies became the national—or even internationl—pastime, not to mention a long time before Disney’s Peter Pan classic film, people used to spend their free time going to the theaters. It was back in 1905, that live entertainment took the form of a stage play called Peter and Wendy where an actress named Maude Adams made the Peter Pan collar famous.
Adams played Peter Pan wearing the collar as part of her costume, and though it was not a novelty at the time, the popularity of the and of the leading actress contributed to the popularization of Peter Pan collars in the US plunging it into the fashion hall of fame.
Boys and Girls Wore Shirts with Peter Pan Collars Until the Early 2000s
Although Peter Pan collars are a big hit amongst women nowadays, there was a time that this type of collar was quite common wear for boys and girls of young age. You’ll find that classic children’s books such as The Little Lord Fauntleroy and Buster Brown have plenty of illustrations of boys and girls wearing Peter Pan collar shirts.
The Little Lord Fauntleroy, a novel by the English-American writer Frances Hodgson Burnett from 1885, is a famous book that was also made into movies in the 1900s. It featured both little girls and boys wearing a Peter Pan style collar, including the main character called Cedric Errol.
Buster Brown was a comic strip character designed in 1902 by Richard F. Outcault, who was well known in the early 20th century America. It featured a young character called Buster Brown wearing a common boys suit with a Peter Pan collar shirt.
Peter Pan Collars Were Called Claudine Collar in France
In France during the 1900s, there was a very popular book about a girl named Claudine.The book was called Claudine à l’école (Claudine at School) and tell the story of a 15-year-old girl going to school in a small village. Its scandalous coming-of-age plot attracted the attention of the public and became a well know story.
In the novel, Claudine is described wearing a Peter Pan style collar. Naturally, young French women started to copy her style, and suddenly the collar became a sensation in Europe. In France, this style clothing is still called the le col Claudine (the Claudine collar).
A Religious Group Called Quakers Dressed Their Children With Peter Pan Colar Shirts
The Quakers, a predominantly Christian group of religious movements usually known as the Religious Society of Friends, started in 1650. This religious group focus on simplicity.
They used plain language, lived in small villages or rural areas; and following this religious concept they wore ordinary clothes and often dressed their children with Peter Pan collar shirts due to its simplicity. Some Quakers still dress their children in this style to this day.
Peter Pan Collar Shirts are a Big Hit with Fashion-Conscious Men
At the early 1920s, a male version of the Peter Pan collar shirt became quite a favorite among the reach and famous. The collar was named Club collar and had a narrower and firmer structure compared with the delicate female version. The club collar became a symbol of wealthy and educated men at this time, and it looked great with a tie pin.
The club collar it is still a fashionable piece of clothing, but its has its ups and downs. Nowadays is no longer restricted to upper class as it became a popular and affordable style of dress shirts, but it is still charming.
Rounded Style Collars are Always Coming Back into Fashion
The Peter Pan collar has had its share of revivals. After its beginnings in 1885 with Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel, it was massively popular on wedding dresses in the 1930s. The collar showed up again in the 1970s, and during this time it took over the women street fashion. In 2012, several hot female celebs wore the collar as it briefly came back into fashion once more. And nowadays, one can still find it in high street shops.
The Club collar also had its comebacks in male fashion. In 2010, HBO launched a show called Boardwalk Empire. The TV show was set the 1930s and featured well-dressed men wearing club collar shirts. This brought the stylish collar back in fashion. Even celebrities as David Beckham took on the trend and walked the red carpet wearing a white club collar shirt with a black suit. And when the trend was back in the closet, it happened all over again.
In 2015, the club collar made a huge resurgence; due to another TV show, but this time produced by AMC. The show was called Mad Men, and it was set in the 1960s. The show brought more attention to the round collar fashion and it becomes popular once more.
The Peter Pan Collar and its Variations Will Never Truly Disappear From Fashion
Rounded collars such as the Peter Pan and club collars have been around for so long and been in style so many times that they have earned an honored position in American and European fashion history. And since they keep popping up, these collars will continue to thrive for many, many years to come for both men and women alike. So what are you waiting for, time to go shopping for some very attractive rounded collar shirts.